GPS Marine

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by GPS Marine's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from GPS Marine is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles

www.gpsmarine.co.uk

THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | GPS MARINE
1,700 tonnes of spoil from
Tideway Tunnel
GPS
Battler
with two barges
With over 50 years’ experience in the maritime
industry, GPS Marine operates in ports and harbours
across Europe. Managing Director John Spencer
explains that through its experience in marine civil engineering,
dredging, offshore demolition, towage and barge transport,
the firm has grown to become the go-to marine contractor on
the Thames and the Medway. John discusses the company’s
diverse capabilities and discusses the future of the marine
haulagesector.
From our base in Upnor in Kent, GPS Marine operates a fleet of 14 tug and
workboats and 49 barges. The tugs and workboats range from 120 bhp to
3,000 bhp and the barges range from 120 tonnes to 1,900 tonnes carrying
capacity. The barge fleet mainly comprises hopper barges and dry cargo barges,
in addition to one self-propelled tanker, three pontoons and two crane barges.
The fleet’s primary purpose is to transport cargo on the River Thames and provide
marine civil engineering and dredging services in southeast England. Vessels also
work on civil engineering, dredging and renewable energy projects throughout
northwestEurope.
Delivering just one 1,600-tonne cargo per day from west central London to Tilbury
by barge eliminates 180 HGV movements from London’s roads. When repeated
every day for a year, this represents the elimination of over 1.5 million HGV miles.
Our Thames-based fleet’s capacity to improve the lives of Londoners through
reduced traffic congestion, improved air quality and lower emissions cannot
beoverstated.
FACTS ABOUT
GPS MARINE
»Managing Director:
JohnSpencer
»Founded in 2000
»Located in Kent
»Services: Freight
»No. of employees: 80
GPS Marine
BEST PRACTICE SPONSOR 2020
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
36 | GPS MARINE
1,700 tonnes of spoil from
Tideway Tunnel
GPS
Battler
with two barges
With over 50 years’ experience in the maritime
industry, GPS Marine operates in ports and harbours
across Europe. Managing Director John Spencer
explains that through its experience in marine civil engineering,
dredging, offshore demolition, towage and barge transport,
the firm has grown to become the go-to marine contractor on
the Thames and the Medway. John discusses the company’s
diverse capabilities and discusses the future of the marine
haulagesector.
From our base in Upnor in Kent, GPS Marine operates a fleet of 14 tug and
workboats and 49 barges. The tugs and workboats range from 120 bhp to
3,000 bhp and the barges range from 120 tonnes to 1,900 tonnes carrying
capacity. The barge fleet mainly comprises hopper barges and dry cargo barges,
in addition to one self-propelled tanker, three pontoons and two crane barges.
The fleet’s primary purpose is to transport cargo on the River Thames and provide
marine civil engineering and dredging services in southeast England. Vessels also
work on civil engineering, dredging and renewable energy projects throughout
northwestEurope.
Delivering just one 1,600-tonne cargo per day from west central London to Tilbury
by barge eliminates 180 HGV movements from London’s roads. When repeated
every day for a year, this represents the elimination of over 1.5 million HGV miles.
Our Thames-based fleet’s capacity to improve the lives of Londoners through
reduced traffic congestion, improved air quality and lower emissions cannot
beoverstated.
FACTS ABOUT
GPS MARINE
»Managing Director:
JohnSpencer
»Founded in 2000
»Located in Kent
»Services: Freight
»No. of employees: 80
GPS Marine
37GPS MARINE |
SHIPPING & LOGISTICS
Trade on the Thames declined from
the early 1960s, and from the end
of the 1970s transporting goods by
barge was considered the ultimate
sunset industry. Planning conditions
demanded some major projects in
London use water transport during
the 1980s and 1990s. In this period,
we proved to several organisations
that water transport was worthy
of further consideration to solve
problems of traffic congestion and
environmental concerns that were
on the periphery of business and
government consciousness. By the
early 21st century we had resurrected
some routine freight operations on the
Thames and begun a slow renaissance.
Freighting about
There were a range of obstacles to
reintroducing freight to the Thames,
the most substantial of which was
a change in culture. We had to
overcome potential clients’ inclination
to want to put freight onto trucks
and not consider a barge option.
Persuading local authorities and
planners of their part in returning
freight to the Thames aside, securing
suitable wharves continues to be our
biggest challenge.
Much in the same way the Port of
London Authority required persuading
that intra-port freight had a viable
future, the attitude of the workforce
required transformation. Militancy
and despondency has since been
replaced by positivity, professionalism
andbelief.
Importantly we had to revise our
own attitudes. Initially, we had to
get freight onto the river at all costs,
but over time we came to appreciate
that this had to coincide with
modernisation and the implementation
of an audited safety management
system. We had to embrace training
and invest heavily in the labour force
and the fleet.
Lack of infrastructure has been a
hurdle to overcome in our efforts
to return freight to the Thames. To
overcome this, we have developed
marine civil engineering and dredging
capability in the business. To
encourage clients to transport freight
on the Thames we have provided
cargo handling equipment, dredged
berths and repaired wharves and jetties
to return them to service. When a
client has had insufficient faith in our
vision, we have funded infrastructure
investments against future income. 1,500 tonnes of spoil
from the Northern line
extension
Delivering just
one
1,600-tonne
cargo per day
from west
central London
to Tilbury by
barge eliminates
180 HGV
movements
from London’s
roads
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
38 | GPS MARINE
Review of
Parliament
Thousands gathered
in Parliament Square
to celebrate the UK’s
departure from the EU
“We’re out”
“The British people have spoken,” said the
affable BBC anchorman, David Dimbleby,
“and the answer is: we’reout.”
This was just after 5am on the morning
of Friday, June 24, 2016.
In the end, it took three years, seven
months, seven days and eighteen hours.
It took three prime ministers. Two general
elections. It took, shock-of-shocks,
two
hosts of the BBC’s Question Time. Yes,
dear old Dimbleby himself, who had
chaired that veritable feast of Thursday-
night verbal flagellation since 1994, left
the hotseat a full year before Britain finally
left the European Union. But it did happen.
At 11pm on January 31, 2020, Britain
ceased to be an EU country. The EU was
now comprised of 27 member states rather
than 28. And although, with a transition
period in place, little else of substance
had changed, there was no doubting the
historic significance of the moment.
Addressing the nation from Downing
Street, the prime minister spoke of the
dawn of a new era and the potential for
meaningful and far reaching change:
“This is not an end but a beginning. This
is the moment the dawn breaks and
the curtain goes up on a new act in our
great nationaldrama.”
He spoke about the opportunities
this moment would provide, such as
controlling immigration, creating free
ports, “liberating” our fishing industry,
doing free trade deals or “simply making
our rules and laws for the benefit of the
people of this country.”
A cricket ball’s throw away in Parliament
Square, thousands gathered for a Brexit
party, fronted by The Brexit Party. This
nascent political grouping, not yet a
year old, appeared pretty pleased with
themselves as they swayed and crooned
with the crowd. In winning May’s
European elections, they had precipitated
Theresa May’s departure, ensured her
successor was a paid-up Leave supporter,
and had helped make Brexit a reality.
In a statement, MrsMay declared that
“after more than three years, we can
finally say we have delivered on the
result of the 2016 referendum and have
kept faith with the Britishpeople.”
Outgoing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn
said: “Britain’s place in the world will
change. The question is what direction
we now take. Wecan build a truly
internationalist, diverse and outward-
looking Britain. Or we can turn inwards,
and trade our principles, rights and
standards to secure hastily arranged,
one-sided, race-to-the-bottom trade
deals with Donald Trump and others.”
Speaking for the EU, Michel Barnier
expressed his sadness, while Donald Tusk
said: “My dear British friends. We were, we
are, and we will always be a community.
And no Brexit will ever change that.”
And so with a mix of jubilation,
apprehension and sadness, the words
spoken by David Dimbleby in the early
hours of June 24, 2016 were now a
reality. We were out.
Providing innovative solutions to
complex problems created by lack
of infrastructure has been vital. We
have created wharves and conceived,
developed and constructed a floating
concrete plant, with on-board cement
and aggregate storage, access for truck
mixers and facilities for barge deliveries
of cement and aggregate, due to lack
of available land and existing facilities.
The future is freight
Today our Thames fleet is engaged on
contracts to transport approximately
one million tonnes of aggregates and
spoil annually by barge. In addition,
it is engaged on major projects
and, when we secured contracts to
transport over three million tonnes of
cargo on the Northern Line Extension
and Tideway Tunnel projects, we
invested heavily in new tonnage.
In 2018 we established a Scottish
Qualifications Authority accredited
training academy specifically to train
crew for our sector. Our academy is
currently training 12 apprentices, eight
from GPS Marine.
We have provided barge transport
for numerous projects in London over
the past 30 years: Canary Wharf, the
Jubilee Line Extension and Crossrail
being but three. Today the advantages
of water freight are becoming
obvious. In a world that is becoming
increasingly aware of human-induced
environmental impact, the need for
change is now widely recognised. On
the Northern Line extension project,
we transported 858,000 tonnes of
spoil by barge from Battersea to East
Tilbury, of which 200,000 tonnes
was diverted from road to water. This
single operation saved 2,600 tonnes
of carbon emissions, equivalent to
the annual emissions from 326 UK
households or 412 flights around
ourplanet.
Having secured firm commitments
to bring more than one million
tonnes of new freight to the Thames
annually, GPS Marine stands ready
to reduce traffic congestion further
and embrace new technology such
as hybrid and hydrogen-fuelled
tugs to further improve London’s
air quality and reduce greenhouse
gas emissions. To do this we require
London’s riparian boroughs to engage
with the Port of London Authority,
Transport for London, the Office of
the London Mayor and us to urgently
make wharves available for freight
operations, thereby facilitating
the movement of more freight on
theThames.
When a client
has had
insufficient
faith in our
vision, we
have funded
infrastructure
investments
GPS
Cambria

www.gpsmarine.co.uk

This article was sponsored by GPS Marine. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.



Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development